Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Butterfly Bonanza

Darn!  I should KNOW not to leave my house without my camera!  Walking through Congress Park just a block from my home today, I was marveling at the glorious proliferation of Ground Ivy and Dandelions, two common but absolutely lovely weeds that are MY idea of what makes a perfect lawn.  And I soon discovered I was not alone in my appreciation.  Dozens of beautiful butterflies -- mostly Red Admirals but one or two others I couldn't identify -- were fluttering among the flowers, lighting here, then there, even holding a pose that would have made for a perfect portrait.  If only I'd had my camera.  The photos above and below are ones from my photo files.

I had never seen Red Admirals traveling in flocks, so when I got home I looked up information about them and learned that this is a butterfly that migrates south for the the winter, with adults returning again in the spring.

Well, I thought this was fascinating and delightful and was telling my family about it at dinner tonight when what should I see come and land right outside my window?  That's right, a Red Admiral.

I went running outside to try to capture a better photo of the butterfly, but unfortunately, it promptly flew away.  No matter, there were other delights.  My own back yard is on its way to becoming a perfect lawn, with violets crowding so closely I hope they will eventually push out all the grass.

While I was out there I looked around at what else was blooming and was really surprised to see these Celandine Poppies, several weeks earlier than ever before.

Hey butterflies, didn't you notice these gorgeous yellow flowers just waiting for you?  I bet they'll soon be back.  Or maybe they like the Dandelions even better.


threecollie said...

I share your opinion of lawns...and noticed an amazing array of butterflies the past few days as well. Even Becky commented about the number of them. Wish I was better at IDing them, as I have no idea what most of them are.

Carolyn H said...

I didn't know red admirals traveled in flocks. That's very cool. Oddly, I see them here in mid-summer, but I can't say that I usually see them in either spring or the fall. I love your violets, too. I have them in my front forest, but mine are the deep purple, now the purple/white ones you have.

asita said...

I ran out to buy and plant some parsley today since I saw a determined black swallowtail sniffing around in my garden. She was not at all interested in nectar, just wanted to lay eggs, apparently! I also saw a question mark and red admirals.

Woodswalker said...

Thanks, friends, for stopping by to add your comments. Yes, the butterflies are now with us in earnest. I'm wondering if the ones we see now are all migrants returning from the south rather than ones that have newly emerged from chrysalises that wintered over. I find the best source for IDing butterflies (especially if I have a photo to send them)is BugGuide.net.

About the violets, almost all our local species are now blooming, except Canada Violets (although I did see a bud nearly open on Thursday). The purple and white ones in my lawn are the Common Blue, but in their white variety. They all started out purple, but over the years, the white variety dominated. I have seen some Common Blue violets speckled purple and white. Very odd.

hikeagiant2 said...

the dandelion and ground ivy - the glorious sun in a vibrantly blue sky! Exquisite!